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Call for papers: Elites, Culture, Power

Comparative Social Research, vol. 34, 2018-19

The yearbook Comparative Social Research invites the submission of papers on the changing significance of elites, and tensions between elites and population groups, in a comparative perspective. The current rise of populism seems to shatter established relationships between elites and the population in both Western and non-Western parts of the world, and may represent a challenge to democracy. Reasons for these changes need to be scrutinized and more thoroughly understood. Increased tensions between people and elite groups may vary from one society to another, reflecting differences in national culture, organizational and political structure, as well as institutions producing social integration. Which groups are perceived as elites, and which groups hold power, may vary between countries and over time. Recent political developments, as well as research, suggest that the role of cultural and symbolic dimensions in the shaping of elite status is significant.

Contributions may take their point of departure in a diversity of disciplines (sociology, political science, history, or other social sciences), and in different conceptions of elites or theoretical strands, such as institutional patterns, power elites and elite integration, symbolic boundary work, or elite compromises and democracy. 

Among possible topics, the following appear as particularly relevant, but the list is in no way exhaustive.

  • Changing relationships between elites and the population, and to what degree they vary across societies. To what extent are the quality of the relationships between elites and the population affected by variations in cultural patterns, including patterns of identification and trust, as well as biased social recruitment?
  • Structural constellations between elite factions. Why do economic elites feel strongly alienated from politics in some societies, while they in other societies are largely acceptant of political governance?
  • Power and integration.  Does disintegration of social partnerships and vital trade union elites have an impact on the exertion of political and social power, and on patterns of social integration of the population?
  • The role of elites in the development of social inequality; construction of social and symbolical boundaries.
  • The role of media as mediating and partly reinforcing cultural contradictions, and thereby influencing political legitimacy.  Both traditional media and social media are relevant.
  • Conflict over environmental policies and causes of climate change.
  • Conflict over cultural expressions and tendencies of political correctness.
  • The rise and fall of elites. The changing social composition of elites groups.

Each contribution is expected to make specific comparisons, be it of nations, regions, or territories.

In addition to substantive themes, the yearbook also welcomes more theoretical and methodological contributions, shedding light over elite formation in a comparative perspective. In this respect, causal and hermeneutical explanation are of special relevance.

Scholars are invited to submit summaries of articles before September 15, 2017, and finished articles before January 10, 2018.

For further information contact:

Daniel Arnesen, assistant editor. daniel.arnesen@socialresearch.no
Trygve Gulbrandsen, volume co-editor. trygve.gulbrandsen@sosialresearch.no
Mari Teigen, volume co-editor. mari.teigen@sosialresearch.no
Marte Mangset, volume co-editor. marte.mangset@hioa.noa
Fredrik Engelstad, series editor. fredrik.engelstad@sosgeo.uio.no

About the series

The CSR has published the work of distinguished social science scholars such as: Erik Allardt, Pierre Bourdieu, Craig Calhoun, Shmuel Eisenstadt, John Goldthorpe, Wendy Griswold, Ronald Inglehart, Alex Inkeles, Jane Jenson, Arne Kalleberg, Karl-Ulrich Mayer, Charles Ragin, Theda Skocpol, Chiara Saracena, John Stephens, and Charles Tilly. Themes of previous volumes include:

  • Labour Mobility in the Single European Market (2016)
  • Gender Segregation in Vocational Education (2015)
  • Class and Stratification Analysis (2013)
  • Firms, Boards and Gender Quotas: Comparative Perspectives (2012).

Series Editor

Fredrik Engelstad
Institute for Social Research / University of Oslo

Editorial Board

Bernard Enjolras
Kristian Harpviken
Marte Mangset
Lars Mjøset
Liza Reisel
Kristian Stokke
Mari Teigen

Assistant Editor

Daniel Arnesen